Weird and wonderful planes: Kopfstein’s colorful Edge

Published On October 2, 2016 » 991 Views» By John Schwarb » Blogs, Red Bull Air Race

Regular #SpeedRead readers will recall our “Weird and Wonderful Indy Cars” series from motorsports journalist Marshall Pruett, a hit in our countdown to the 100th Indy 500 earlier this year and continuing through the summer. This week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we’re all about aircraft at the Red Bull Air Race, and we found what can only be called a “Weird and Wonderful” raceplane.

Petr Kopfstein of the Czech Republic, the 2014 Challenger Cup champion now flying in the Master Class, pilots an Edge 540 V3 that’s unlike any other in the hangar, thanks to beautiful hand-painted wings and fuselage depicting the Austrian town of Spielberg and the Red Bull Ring, which holds a Red Bull Air Race among other world-class events.

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“It just shows what you can do — go rock climbing, play golf, pleasure rides. There’s so many things,” Kopfstein said.

Warm-weather pursuits are depicted on the top of the wings, with winter activities represented on the bottom of the wings.

“Every time I look at it, I find something different,” Kopfstein said. “And I know the aircraft pretty well.”

For race planes and cars today, decals are far more common than paint jobs nowadays. Decals are easier, cheaper and — most importantly — lighter.

“This is heavier, there’s more paint used,” Kopfstein said. “But I’m not the heaviest pilot, so it didn’t cause any issues. I love the way it flies.”

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About The Author

John Schwarb

I joined the Indianapolis Motor Speedway communications team in July 2014 and love sharing stories from the World Capital of Racing, particularly its rich history. Most of my professional career has been in racing or golf, so if I'm not in the IMS media center, the office at 16th and Georgetown or milling around Gasoline Alley, maybe I'll be standing over a birdie putt at Brickyard Crossing. Follow us at @IMS or drop me a line at @JohnSchwarb and come back to the blog often for more stories.
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